Events & Tastings

A Tale of Two Terroirs: Montesquieu Winery Debuts Derenoncourt California Lot for Premiere Napa Valley 2012

February 23, 2012, by: Lisa Duff Khajavi

Stéphane Derenoncourt and Montesquieu CEO Fonda Hopkins, Ink Grade

Today marked the beginning of the 16th Annual Premiere Napa Valley Auction, which is one of the most exciting events of the year in Napa, where the most influential members of the wine industry from all over the country and the globe—including vintners, retailers, brokers, distributors, media and restaurant owners—gather to experience the very best and most innovative wines from our country’s leading appellation. It is a whirlwind weekend of events, starting with seminars and tastings, and culminating in the grand finale—a barrel tasting and live auction on Saturday February 25 at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena.

In previous years, we have been fortunate to be one of the auction’s most active bidders—however this year is special. We are not only attending the seminars, tastings and auction, but unveiling our first-ever lot—A Tale of Two Terroirs by Stéphane Derenoncourt—5 cases of 2010 Derenoncourt California Cabernet Sauvignon from Howell Mountain. View Full Post


Montesquieu Winery Reports from Lake Como’s World Wine Symposium

December 22, 2011, by: Lisa Duff Khajavi

Villa d'Este, Lake Como

On the shores of Lake Como at the historical five-star hotel Villa d’ Este, the third annual World Wine Symposium (WWS) took place in November — and we at Montesquieu Winery were thrilled to participate. The WWS, also known as the “Davos of Wine”, was created by François Mauss, president and founder of the prestigious European Grand Jury wine tasting organization.

Several years ago, François partnered with some of the world’s most famous winemakers – Aubert de Villaine, Angelo Gaja, Pablo Alvarez (Vega Sicilia), and Alain Vauthier (Ausone) – to bring together the leading players in the wine industry from all over the globe for several days of sharing, learning and networking.

It is their belief that wine is not simply a commercial commodity, but rather a product with unique historical and cultural dimensions that must be protected and defended. This concept is paramount to these famous producers— for example, Villaine is leading a campaign to add the Côte de Beaune and the Côte de Nuits, along with their system of climats (specific vineyard sites), to the list of Unesco World Heritage sites. View Full Post


Winemaker’s Dinner with Thierry Haberer: Montesquieu Winery Celebrates Release of Juntarse

December 2, 2011, by: Lisa Duff Khajavi

Winemaker's Dinner with Thierry Haberer

Just before the release of our groundbreaking 2010 Montesquieu Juntarse at the end of October, we had the pleasure to reconnect and share a great meal and wines with Thierry Haberer, winemaker for the renowned Michel Rolland.   Thierry oversees wine production for the international Rolland Collection including the Mariflor wines from the Uco Valley, which we represent exclusively here in the U.S.

Thierry is also an integral part of our collaboration with Michel in our new project together, a series of co-branded wines from Mendoza’s Uco Valley crafted especially for our Montesquieu clients. The Juntarse– a maverick blend of Cabernet, Syrah and Malbec from some of Michel’s top vines – is our first release from this venture. Throughout the process, Michel and Thierry worked closely with our team to create a wine of exceptional quality and singular character. View Full Post


Montesquieu Winery Reflects on VinExpo 2011: All Eyes on Asia, Not Losing Sight of US

August 2, 2011, by: Lisa Duff Khajavi

VinExpo, the largest trade show of wine and spirits in the world, is always exciting to attend. Held every other year in Bordeaux, it is a bustling international scene packed with a dizzying array of tastings, seminars, exhibitions and more. With the most influential members of the wine industry attending plus the sheer scale of the event, it is no surprise that a huge amount of networking and deal making takes place, both on-site in the vast exhibition center and off-site at the many premiere dinners and events. It is a powerful bellwether event, revealing key trends and emerging markets in the wine world.

The organizers of VinExpo have encouraged new and emerging markets with a global perspective, reflected in the 47 countries represented among the 2,400 exhibitors. The attendance was over 48,000 which was an increase of 3 % over 2009 which kept the aisles humming, and the mood was decidedly optimistic all around. View Full Post


Partnering with the Aspen Institute: Montesquieu Winery Gears Up for a Second Summer in Aspen

May 31, 2011, by: Lisa Duff Khajavi

We are pleased to announce the continuation of our relationship with the Aspen Institute, partnering for a second straight year to ensure that the Institute’s summer conference guests and donors will enjoy not only stimulating conversation but also delicious, hand-crafted wines compliments of Montesquieu Winery. Like last year, we will offer favorite selections from our international portfolio of Montesquieu Wines at two of the Institute’s marquee events this summer.

The Aspen Institute

The first of these events is the Socrates Program Benefit Dinner 15th Anniversary Celebration on Sunday June 26, 2011, for which Montesquieu Winery will participate as the exclusive wine sponsor. The Institute’s Socrates Program was created to bring young emerging leaders from a variety of professions together in order to discuss and explore important contemporary topics of current political, ethical/moral, economic and global concern. (For more information on the dinner and the Socrates Society read more here.)

This year’s event promises to be fascinating, as it features Thomas L. Friedman, the New York Times foreign affairs columnist and Pulitzer Prize winning author. Mr. Freidman will moderate a conversation with by Sonal Shah, Director, White House Office of Innovation, and Jonathan Zittrain, Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and co-founder of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, on the topic “Digital Disconnect: Innovations in Technology and the Impact on International Relations”. Socrates founders, Laura and Gary Lauder, will serve as dinner co-chairs, and Society of Fellows members and the event will honor Socrates Program alumni, Samia and Huda Farouki. View Full Post


Montesquieu Winery Updates: Hearts and Wine Overflow for the Children of St. Jude

May 24, 2011, by: Lisa Duff Khajavi

Cocktail Reception St. Jude "Affair of the Heart"

Members of our Montesquieu Winery team recently returned from Las Vegas where we participated in the second annual fundraiser for the Las Vegas Chapter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital on Saturday May 21, 2011 at the Mandarin Oriental.

The elegant red carpet gala, “An Affair of the Heart” was a huge success, bringing in an unprecedented amount for this chapter benefitting the children of St. Jude.  We saw generous support and enthusiasm all around by the well-heeled attendees, artists, and volunteers—all engaging each other while enjoying colorful artwork, our elegant wines, lovely cuisine and a wide variety of entertainment. View Full Post


Separating the Wheat from the Chaff in Bordeaux: Montesquieu Winery Tastes the 2010s

May 20, 2011, by: Stephen George

Fonda and Tony Connell tasting at La Grappe

If October is the biggest month of the year for winemakers, April is the biggest month of the year for wine marketers, at least in Bordeaux.

That’s because the beginning of April is when Primeurs takes place – that critical week when Bordeaux chateaux pour barrel samples of the most recent vintage for merchants and critics to taste.  This process kicks off the “en primeur” season, during which merchants have the opportunity to purchase futures of Bordeaux, wines that are still in barrel and won’t be will be available for consumption for two or more years.  It’s important for the Bordelais, because it generates an early stream of cash; it’s important for the entire wine world, because it serves as a barometer for the global market for fine wines. View Full Post


Las Vegas Shows Big Heart for the Children of St. Jude

May 12, 2011, by: Lisa Duff Khajavi

There are some big hearts in Vegas, and they’re getting quite a bit of attention!   In various locations around town you will find impressive five-foot tall sculptures, each one custom created by a professional local artist as part of the upcoming St. Jude “An Affair of the Heart” fundraiser gala May 21, 2011 at the Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas.

Heart of Las Vegas by Alexander P. Huerta

The hearts were originally cast from a sculpture created by well known local sculptor Miguel Rodriguez. Each artist selected for the project created their own design, painting the hearts with their interpretations of “Inside the Heart of a Child”.  The results are an inspiration—vibrant and multi-colored—each with an expressive and unique genre. They have caused quite the sensation, bringing timely attention to the wonderful work being done by St. Jude. View Full Post


Scouring the Globe for Greatness and Finding it in Our Own Backyard

April 29, 2011, by: Stephen George

At Montesquieu Winery, we love the thrill of the chase, the adventure of exploration, the romance of hot pursuit.  And we know that the best wines – the wines that offer the most profound experiences – are often the most difficult to find.  That’s why we dedicate ourselves to scouring the globe for the most exciting, rarest vineyards and wines, and bringing them in for our clients to enjoy.

Montesquieu Winery exploring the vines of Hermitage

Recently we were doing just that in Argentina, meeting new producers, discovering some of Mendoza’s oldest vines and best terroir, and tasting the region’s top wines.  Before that we were in Bordeaux.  And our quest has taken us to places like Burgundy, Champagne, the Rhone, Piedmont, Tuscany, Germany, even Turkey.

But believe it or not, sometimes the rarest finds are right in our backyard.

Napa Valley may not seem as exotic as Argentina, since it’s so close to home.  But there’s no denying that Napa is the source for some of the world’s greatest wines.  And although too many Napa wineries have gone the route of high-production, there are still some amazing vintners doing fascinating, unique, artisanal projects – the kind that promises not only a taste to die for but also a wine experience that literally cannot be replicated. View Full Post


An Affair of the Heart: Montesquieu Winery Collaborates to Honor St. Jude in Las Vegas

April 26, 2011, by: Lisa Duff Khajavi

Montesquieu Winery Sponsors St. Jude Fundraiser

We at Montesquieu Winery are pleased to announce our partnership with St. Jude for the second annual Las Vegas Honors St. Jude: An Affair of the Heart fundraiser gala May 21, 2011 at the Mandarin Oriental.

St. Jude is known worldwide for pioneering research and treatment of children with cancer and other major diseases. Ranked the No. 1 pediatric cancer hospital by Parents magazine and the No. 1 children’s cancer hospital by U.S. News & World Report, St. Jude is the first and only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children.

The results are amazing: St. Jude has developed protocols that have helped push overall survival rates for childhood cancers from less than 20 percent when the hospital opened in 1962 to 80 percent today! View Full Post


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